A Year in Smoke

  • Richard Carleton Hacker

A lot of things happened in 1961.  John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States, the New York Yankees won the World Series, and Rocky Patel was born. Hence the Rocky Patel 1961, one of this well-known cigar personality’s newest offerings and the first to be made in Rocky’s Tabacalera Villa Cuba factory in Nicaragua.

With its dark, silky Ecuadorean Habano seed wrapper, Honduran binder, and Nicaraguan fillers, the favor is strong yet refined, like tempered steel but with a hint of red rust. The RP 1961 is definitely a small-batch-bourbon cigar, linking up admirably with a snifter of Pappy Van Winkle’s 23-Year-Old Family Reserve or Michter’s 25 Year Old. Plus, whether you hold the cigar right side up or upside down, the 1961 band reads the same. Four traditional sizes are offered: a 5x50 Robusto ($7.50); 5½x50 Torpedo ($8.50); 6x52 Toro ($8.50); and a 5½x44 Corona ($6.50). Like Rocky, all have aged well. (www.rockypatel.com)

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Paul Dimalanta
At the Judgment of Paris in 1976, a bottle of Chardonnay from the Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena...
As prices for rare Cubans rise, it is getting harder to put a match to the most collectible cigars...
Packshot Factory
Back by popular demand, Supernova is one of the most robust single malts ever produced...
After 22 years of aging, the second installment of the 1992 vintage has reached full maturity…
Now in its 15th year, the wine- and food-filled festival has raised more than $123 million for...
Photo by Cordero Studios
The Arturo Fuente 100th Anniversary Destino Siglo ($416–$520; www.cigar​family.com) is aptly...
Earthy mushrooms, both pungent and delicate, will enhance every sip of these Cabernet Sauvignons,...
HIGHLAND PARK DISTILLERY Highland Park is made today with the same enduring belief and integrity,...
Photo by Cordero Studios
For the longest time, most serious wine drinkers adhered to the notion that California wines did...
The holidays abide very much as a state of mind, sparked by twinkling lights, fragrant aromas, and...